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How to report

Work out the different methods for lodging a super transfer balance account report (TBAR) and how to correct one.

Last updated 8 January 2023

When to use the TBAR

Use the TBAR to advise us when:

We use this information to adjust your member’s transfer balance account so we can correctly apply the transfer balance cap provisions.

We do not use information reported to us in your SMSF annual return (SAR) or that you share with another fund in a roll over benefit statement for transfer balance cap purposes. Do not use the TBAR to report a member's total super balance information from 1 July 2018.

Find out more about how to use the TBAR.

Note: As an SMSF trustee you can only report information about your member's interest in the SMSF, not any interests they have in other super funds. Find out more about your reporting obligations at:

Reporting methods and lodgment

You can lodge a TBAR by:

  • online form
  • bulk data exchange (BDE)
  • paper report.

Correcting a report

If you have made an error in your reporting you will need to cancel the original event. If necessary, you will then need to lodge a second report with the correct information.

To cancel the original event:

  • lodge a new form exactly how you originally reported it, including the incorrectly reported information
  • use the additional field to indicate the form is being lodged as a cancellation of a previous form.

This enables us to match your cancellation request to the original lodgment.

If you previously cancelled a report and want to undo the cancellation, do not try to cancel a cancellation request. Send us a new report containing the original information.

Note: If you need to re-report ensure you lodge the cancellation first before sending the correction to avoid duplication.

Reporting a reversionary income stream

If a member dies and the death benefit income stream payable on their death is a reversionary income stream, you:

  • don't need to report the death of a member for TBAR purposes
  • do need to report the credit that arises in the transfer balance account of the reversionary beneficiary because they have started to receive this income stream.

When reporting the credit for the reversionary beneficiary:

  • complete the member details for the reversionary beneficiary who is receiving the income stream, not the deceased member
  • clearly indicate you are reporting a reversionary income stream
  • report the date of death of the member as the effective date
  • report the value of the income stream on the day the member died (you may be able to use a reasonable estimate to do this).

We will apply the credit to your member’s transfer balance account 12 months after the death of the original member.

Between reporting the event to us and the credit being applied to your member’s account, they will be able to see the value of the credit and when it will be applied in ATO online. This will help them understand what action they may need to take to ensure they don't exceed their transfer balance cap when the credit is applied.

Example: reversionary income stream

Alex and Robyn both have pensions in an SMSF.

Alex dies on 4 February 2020 and their pension reverts to their spouse Robyn. The value of the pension at the time of Alex’s death is $1.267 million.

Robyn already has a credit in their transfer balance account of $800,000 from their life pension in the SMSF.

On 28 April 2020, the SMSF lodges a TBAR reporting:

  • Robyn’s details, as they are the reversionary beneficiary
  • the $1.267 million value of the credit that will arise in Robyn’s transfer balance account on 4 February 2021
  • an effective date of 4 February 2020 (Alex's date of death)
  • the income stream is reversionary.

Robyn will be able to view the reversionary income stream in their transfer balance account once it is reported by the fund, with the credit being included on 4 February 2021. This will help Robyn understand what they need to do to avoid exceeding their personal transfer balance cap of $1.6 million.

On 1 February 2021, Robyn commutes $467,000 from their life pension.

If the SMSF does not report this to us before 4 February 2021, we'll send Robyn an excess transfer balance determination.

End of example

For more detail, see LCR 2017/3 Superannuation reform: Superannuation death benefits and the transfer balance cap

Reporting an account as closed

When lodging a TBAR to report that a member has commuted their pension in full, it is especially important to report the account as closed when they are:

  • rolling over in full to another fund
  • commuting in full to avoid exceeding their personal transfer balance cap before the credit arising from a capped defined benefit income stream is applied to their account.

If you do not report the pension account as closed, we may send the SMSF commutation authorities for the pension account.

This can mean it will take longer before the excess is rectified and the member will pay more excess transfer balance tax.